Rail News

RSBN Franchise Goes to NordWestBahn Again

Germany – NordWestBahn, a TOC that is part of Transdev Group, has succeeded in the Europe-wide tender process. It is the successful bidder for the Regional S-Bahn Bremen/Niedersachsen franchise and will now continue to run services on the line until December 2036. NordWestBahn started running services on the 270km RSBN network in 2010. 

NordWestBahn wins RSBN franchise until 2036
The RSBN franchise has gone to NordWestBahn until 2036 © Rob Dammers under licence

New RSBN Franchise Contract for NordWestBahn

The new contract will commence in December 2021. The planned service level means that NordWestBahn trains will travel around 6.5 million kilometres per year. The new contract also states that as of 2022 the RSBN network will be expanded. There will also be tangible improvements for passengers thanks to more frequent services.

Dr Rolf Erfurt, CEO of NordWestBahn, said:

“We’re very pleased about winning the contract and about the trust the Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen and the Bremen senator for environment, construction and transport are placing in NordWestBahn.

“In recent years we’ve proved that NordWestBahn is the right mobility partner for the region. The new franchise contract stipulates further attractive improvements for passengers in Bremen and Lower Saxony, such as a service between Bremen and Bremerhaven every 30 minutes from 2022. Following the route’s connection to the electrified network, the contract states that Wilhelmshaven will also become part of the RSBN network.”

Dr Tobias Heinemann, Spokesperson for Transdev GmbH, said:

“We’re very relieved that our offer was convincing and that we’ll continue to run the Regio S-Bahn Bremen / Niedersachsen service long-term. Transdev and NordWestBahn are a firm fixture in the region. We’re creating additional future-proof jobs in the Hanseatic city and are able to maintain our existing jobs permanently.”

Additional Rolling Stock for RSBN

In order to deliver the additional services and increase capacity on the route, NordWestBahn is purchasing 16 further trains. Consequently, its fleet will consist of 51 trains in the future. The company is also planning to have a greater operating reserve.

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NordWestBahn currently owns 18 three-car Alstom Coradia Continental trains as well as 17 five-car units of the same model.

Improvements to the RSBN Franchise from 2022

Thanks to the overlap of lines RS3 and RS4 the RSBN trains will service the route between Hude and Bremen every half hour in the future. The RS4 will stop at all stations between Hude and Bremen for the first time. At the same time the RS3 line will be extended from Oldenburg to Wilhelmshaven during peak times. On this section modern electric multiple units will replace the diesel trains between Wilhelmshaven and Bremen (RE19). Between now and then the route is being electrified with overhead lines. The electrification works should be complete by the end of 2022.

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In the future, the RS3 will no longer service the branch line to Bad Zwischenahn. Instead, the RS3X will take over. This will be an accelerated line for commuters, stopping at fewer stations after departing from Bad Zwischenahn.

Passengers on RS2 between Bremen and Bremerhaven will also benefit from a greater number of trains. Additional trains will supplement the all-day hourly trains that run from Monday to Saturday during peak times, meaning there will be a service every 30 minutes.

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